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In This Room

Updated: Aug 26, 2022


The hush filled the room. It wasn’t the normal quiet, void of distracting noises. This was the silence that demanded respect. This was the hush of death.


This was the room where caskets were flanked with baskets, vases and wreathes of flowers, where urns were displayed beside pictures, plants and bouquets. It was in this room where the lives of loved ones were recounted, stories were shared, videos were watched, pictures were displayed and the deceased were remembered for the good deeds they had done and the joy they had brought to others.


I loved this room of the funeral home. The afternoon sun would cast a warm glow through the sheared windows as the scent of flowers filled the space. For some the silence was creepy, but for me it was peaceful. The room was large enough to accommodate a large group of people. However, spaced throughout, I had placed couches, chairs, end tables and lamps; the perfect conversation areas. This room, even though it’s size, was comfortable and inviting. For me, it was a sacred space, fitting to honor a life that was lived.


I loved what happened in this room. I loved the transformation that took place in this space. The large room was where the visitation or wake was held. Upon entering this room, the grieving family noticed the sacred quiet. I knew, because they whispered. In the presence of the dead, a reverent hush was observed. The only sounds to break the silence were the sounds of grief; sniffles, sobs, mumbled words of remorse or relief, laments of regret and disbelief, burst of anger or prayers offered for strength. And the visitation/wake began.


Toward the end of the evening the transformation had taken place. Laughter. Laughter of fondness. In the cozy conversation corners, in the glow of lamplight, stories were shared, fond memories were recalled and tales were told. Visitors were recounting how the deceased guest of honor had impacted their own personal lives. Many of these tales often ended with laughter. It was the kind that if heard, you knew it was out of love or adoration. It was laughter with a bit of longing, with the realization that you knew you were a part of a legacy. After the last guest left the room, the family reluctantly began to gather their belongings, tired but blessed. Grateful for all they had heard and comforted by those who had shared in their evening. The sacred silence once again filled the space.


Communication. This is the vibrating energy of the Vishuddha chakra. This throat chakra is represented by the sense of hearing and the earth element of ether and space. Even though the sense of hearing is key, the chakra is located in the throat area. It begins at the base of the throat, includes the nasal passages and comes to an end around the bridge of the nose. The ears are connected by eustachian tubes and the nose is connected by the pharynx. Our communication, whether listening or speaking is all interconnected. As fascinating as this may be, the energy of this vishuddha throat chakra is my focus.


This swirling vibrating center of energy is the space of communication. The sounds that we hear and the sounds that we make are all vibrations of the tiny physical parts of this chakra. But, the energy of communication is huge. Communication is dependent on interpretation. Interpretation is dependent on perception. The chances for miscommunication are very common, we’ve all experienced it. But listening is vital for all communication to take place. Listening is the most vital form and yet the most challenging to do. Many people listen to another only to formulate their own reply. They only hear a fraction of what is said because they are busy thinking about how they are going to respond and what they are going to say.


The visitors that walked into the sacred space of the room had something to say, a story to tell or a condolence to impart. Grieving families accepted, smiled, shed tears and uttered responses. They loved to hear how their loved one impacted another’s life. They shared connection centering around the life they were there to commemorate. The room had undergone the transformation from one of shrouded silence to one filled with the energetic vibrations of the vishuddha chakra. The family listened and with the quiet laughter of connection they grieved. I often wondered if the families were heard. Did anyone listen to the pain in their voice? Did anyone hear the sadness, despair, anger or bewilderment? Did anyone hear the fear, confusion and desperation? Did anyone hear their silence? Did anyone hear?


My heartfelt desire for those grieving families that witnessed the transformation of the room as the sun gave way to darkness; was always that in the days, weeks, months and years to come, when they needed to speak of their sorrow and grief, there would be someone there to listen.


Grief needs only to be heard.



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